Project Background

The Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) and Melbourne Airport Rail (MAR) Link are two complex and critical transport projects that will enhance the connectivity, performance and growth of Melbourne’s transport network. The Innova team was engaged between August 2019 to October 2021 and led the Rail Systems, ICT, OCS, train control, cyber security and Telecommunications Concept and Reference Designs for SRL. During the same period, Innova also led the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MAR), Western Rail Plan and Geelong Fast Rail Concept design for the same disciplines and were requested to come back recently to assist in the MAR Reference Design and verification. The combined value of these critical major projects is expected to be in excess of $100B.


How Innova Helped

Innova assembled a team with proven executive and technical level experience of technologies, systems and their integration to support service planning and delivery for safe operation of the railway. An understanding of public transport strategies and focus areas, including integration with private transport and smart infrastructure was required. The SRL will operate a GOA4 CBTC system, and hence reliability and performance were paramount.

Innova brought that mindset into the MAR, SRL, WRP and GFR concept and reference designs commencing with open and transparent consultation with SRLA and other disciplines to establish clear roles and responsibilities, deliverables, interdependencies, schedules, reporting and performance requirements, risks and controls and the design decisions, constraints and assumptions that need to be identified early. This was successfully achieved and supported through the development of:

  • Structured program progress reporting and planning.
  • Technical Advice Notes.
  • Engineering Advice Notes.
  • Benchmarking assessments (local and global).
  • Research and application of lessons learnt from similar projects (local and global).
  • Consideration of VicGov strategies, policies and statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Consideration of Commonwealth and VicGov security compliance requirements.
  • Technology assessments and roadmaps.
  • Systems Engineering and Safety Assurance processes.
  • Risk management application and Safety in Design.
  • Inter-disciplinary reviews and assessments.

Achieved Outcomes

Innova provided SRLA key feasibility assessments of technical and commercial options and recommendations for various systems and services against optimised project objectives, requirements, cost, risk, deliverability aligned to VicGov policies and strategies. Supported by Multi-criteria, strategic optioneering (using a top-down hypothesis tree approach) and VFM assessments.

The Innova team successfully delivered turn key Reference Designs and functional requirements, including key input to other discipline designs, speciality engineering activities and reports.

Innova have been able to successfully facilitate market sounding activities with SRLA and discussions continue with prospective vendors and SRLA to better inform future market engagement and implementation.


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At Innova, we focus on building trusted client relationships, and take pride in delivering engineering excellence and professional services in the Telecommunications, Transport, Defence and Public Safety Markets.